DUBAI Dec 1 Gulf stock markets may remain firm
on Thursday in response to news of OPEC's first agreement on oil
output cuts since 2008, which will be joined by Russia in an
effort to prop up prices.
Expectations for the agreement boosted oil prices and Gulf
bourses in late trade on Wednesday, with the Saudi stock index
climbing 1.5 percent to 7,000 points.
Nevertheless, oil continued to rise after Gulf markets
closed and the deal was announced; Brent crude is at a
six-week high of $52.44 a barrel. The deal included bigger
production cuts than many analysts had expected.
Saudi Arabia accepted particularly big cuts to production.
That could hurt headline Saudi gross domestic product growth in
coming quarters but higher oil prices may increase overall Saudi
state revenues, helping the government ease austerity policies
slightly and benefiting the economy.
The rise of the Saudi stock index on Wednesday confirmed a
break of major technical resistance on its April peak of 6,876
points. That triggered a double bottom formed by this year's
lows and pointing up to around 8,400 points in the long term.
United Arab Emirates stock markets are closed on Thursday
for a public holiday.
(Reporting by Andrew Torchia)